Conventional vortex generators as found on many civil aircrafts are mainly for off-design conditions - e.g. suppression of separation or loss of aileron power when the Mach number accidentally rises above the design (cruise) value. In normal conditions they perform no useful function and exert a significant drag penalty. Recently there have been advances in new designs for passive vortex generators and boundary layer control. While traditionally the generators heights were of the order of the boundary layer thickness (delta), recent advances have been made where generators of the order of delta/4 have been shown to be effective. The advancement of MIcro-Electro-Mechanical (MEM) devices has prompted several efforts in exploring the possibility of using such devices in turbulence control. These new devices offer the possibility of boundary layer manipulation through the production of vortices, momentum jets, or other features in the flow. However, the energy output of each device is low in general, but they can be used in large numbers. Therefore, the possibility of moving from passive vortex generators to active (on-demand) devices becomes of interest. Replacement of fixed rectangular or delta-wing generators by devices that could be activated when needed would produce substantial economies. Our proposed application is not strictly 'active' control: the vortex generators would simply be switched on, all together, when needed (e.g. when the aircraft Mach number exceeded a certain limit). To this extent our scheme is simpler; however, to promote mixing and suppress separation we desire to deposit longitudinal vortices into the outer layer of the boundary layer as in conventional vortex generators. This requires a larger device although an alternative might be an array of smaller devices, for example, a longitudinal row with phase differences in the modulation signals so that the periodic vortices join up. The vortex pair with common flow up has the advantage that it will naturally drift away from the surface, but the disadvantage is that the net vorticity is zero so that the pair is eventually obliterated by turbulent mixing, rather than simply being diffused as in the case of a single vortex. It should be possible to devise alternative shapes of cavity wall so that the jet emerges obliquely and produces net longitudinal vorticity.